Restaurant: Fresh Local Wild
Cuisine: Sandwiches/Seafood/West Coast/Pacific Northwest/Food Cart
Last visited: June 20, 2011
Location: Vancouver, BC (Downtown)
Address: Corner of Burrard & West Hastings
Price Range: $10 or less
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
Ambiance: 4 (esp. for a food truck)
- Chef/Owner Josh Wolfe
- Meat and seafood
- Local/Sustainable menu
- Limited menu
- Seasonal fresh ingredients
- Made upon order
- Home made sauces
- Truck runs on vegetable oil
- Limited covered patio seating
- Daily features
- Constantly rotating menu
- Mon-Fri 10:30am – around 3-4pm
**Recommendations: Most people go for the Clubhouse. I liked the Chicken Fried Oyster Sandwich better and the fries are good here.
Food carts and food trucks. They’re certainly booming all over Vancouver, and the sad thing is I’ve only gone to one. I’m not often in the downtown core in the afternoon so I never get the opportunity to really try them. The only one I’ve tried is Fresh Local Wild, and after this post it’s still Fresh Local Wild, but with a new location, truck, and menu.
Fresh Local Wild is one of the newer food trucks to hit the Vancouver scene. I know the name sounds familiar, but things have changed. It used to be located on Granville Street (see here), but that truck is now called The Kaboom Box even though it has kept the original menu. It turns out that chef and previous owner Josh Wolfe has ventured off to open his own food truck which he calls a “Mobile Restaurant”. With a slightly different menu and same heart, he has re-opened Fresh Local Wild on the corner of Burrard and West Hastings in downtown Vancouver.
I must say that the new truck is sick! It has a built in four seat covered patio, which makes it a little more like a “restaurant”, and it runs on wasted vegetable oil used from his cooking. Wait! What?! Vegetable oil? How does that work? To be honest, I’m a foodie, not a scientist, but the gentleman from Switchover (company responsible for this eco-friendly initiative) tried explaining it to me, and I was just too distracted with the food. Regardless of how the process works, I can only hope this new revolutionary invention spreads faster.
I was invited to try the re-opening of Fresh Local Wild. Since the chef and owner is still Josh Wolfe I did expect somewhat of a similar style as the previous Fresh Local Wild, and it was. The menu is rather limited to a few meat and seafood sandwiches and fish n’ chips, but the sandwiches do change fairly often. The Albacore Melt and Chicken Club are always on the menu though. The meats and seafood are sustainable and everything is made fresh upon order.
It was actually less complicated and gourmet than I thought it would be. It’s basic bread and sandwich fixings although the meats were marinated and executed well. I have all the respect for Wolfe’s eco-friendly initiatives and attitude, but I do find them costly (I guess for him and the consumer). It is one of the pricier food carts and your chances are slim being one of the lucky four to enjoy a seat on that attached patio for lunch. The food was generally good, but I think I was expecting a little more and I did prefer some of the previous sandwiches I had tried from him before at the old Fresh Local Wild location – see here.
On the table:
- Hand cut bacon, spicy aioli $8
- This is one of their house favourites that’s always on the menu.
- This is the Fresh Local Wild version of a clubhouse sandwich. It’s more like a grilled meat sandwich.
- The bread is just regular store bought sesame white bread and I wish it was toasted more for that extra crunch.
- The star of the show is the meat though and there’s a whole lot of meat in this clubhouse, despite the way it may look.
- It was chucks of marinated and grilled chicken and it was decently tender, but not always as moist as I’d prefer. It’s well seasoned though.
- The bacon was almost like pork cheek bacon and as much as I enjoy that, this one was a bit too fatty for me.
- It was thick cut strips of BBQ pork like “bacon”, but they weren’t crispy and they even had a chewy resistance to them like pork cheek would.
- It’s moderately spicy from a chili mayo sauce they put on it and it’s a bit tangy too and tasted like Frank’s Hot Sauce in mayo form.
- It was very fresh with lettuce and tomato and it was quite good, but I almost just wanted to eat the meat without all the other stuff. I’m not even a hardcore carnivore, but the chunks of meat were easily enjoyed alone.
- I personally prefer the Vanwich from last time although that’s comparing apples to oranges.
- I find this a bit pricey for $8 with no side from a food cart.
- Romaine lettuce, tartar $10
- I prefer raw oysters 99% of the time, and the only times I’ve really enjoyed a cooked oyster was at Fresh Local Wild the first time (see here), and also at Pair Bistro.
- It almost reminded me of a McDonald’s extra crispy chicken burger, but instead of the chicken it was with an oyster.
- The best part to this is definitely the buttermilk batter he uses on these oysters. It soaks in buttermilk overnight. The other secret is that’s it’s well seasoned!
- The super crunchy batter is exactly like a extra crunchy fried chicken batter and it’s a great contrast to the cooked oyster.
- The fairly large oyster remains incredibly plump, juicy and tender almost producing a natural sauce for the sandwich.
- The bread is a soft and fluffy standard burger bun, and again I would be happy just eating the deep fried oysters with the chili mayo because they were good enough alone and didn’t need “sandwich support”.
- There’s a slight spiciness and heat of chili coming from the oyster and it makes the tartar sauce come across as chili mayo. Alone the tartar sauce tasted like plain mayo though.
- This is a lighter version of his old “Po-Boy Oyster Sandwich”, and I liked this deep fried oyster better, but I missed the house made cole slaw he used to make it with.
- Again it’s a bit steep for $10 with no side, but it’s very good.
- I almost thought it was yam tempura when I first saw it.
- It was definitely a tempura style fish and chip batter and although it was suggested that it was a light batter, it was actually a bit thick for me.
- This was the only thing that was under seasoned, which really surprised me because everything else was so well seasoned.
- I like the paper thin very crispy and almost transparent fish and chip batter, like the one from Moby Dick – see here.
- The salmon was a bit bland, but not dry, and the flour batter didn’t seemed seasoned either.
- The tartar sauce was creamy, but not too thick. It had almost pureed pickles in it and it was less tangy, more savoury, and less crunchy than most tartar sauces.
- The fish and chips weren’t my favourite compared to everything else.
- If you’re in the area and craving fish n’ chips, you can try the Beer Battered Halibut Bento Box at Hapa Umi for $19. It’s your money and your call, but I really like that one.
- Okay, so obviously this was a communal poutine and not representative of a regular portion.
- The fries are skins on hand cut Russet Potato fries and they were very crispy and well seasoned. The fries are actually very good here.
- It was topped with a generous amount of creamy, rich, and indulgent cream sauce which was supposed to be “salmon chowder”, but it was closer to a béchamel sauce to me.
- There were pieces of salmon throughout, which was a nice West Coast twist, but they were a bit overcooked. In this context it didn’t bother me that much.
- It was a bit heavy with flour and perhaps thickened with some potato (?) and infused with celery flavour.
- The diced celery was cut almost the same size as the salmon and it was very soft and sweet and their flavour disappears right into the sauce.
- There was also a little bit of bacon in it, but the flavour of the bacon didn’t infuse into the sauce and it carried no seafood flavour either.
- The sauce could have had some melted cheese in it, but there were no cheese curds to make it a poutine. It’s not stringy or actually cheesy though.
- It is still good, but just don’t really think of it as “salmon chowder”, or you might get picky like me and be under whelmed a bit.